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Hitachi, Toshiba, Miraca to set up factory for coronavirus antigen tests

06/05/2020 | 12:57am EDT
FILE PHOTO: The logo of Toshiba Corp is seen behind cherry blossoms at the company's headquarters in Tokyo

By Makiko Yamazaki and Rocky Swift

Japanese industrial conglomerates Hitachi Ltd and Toshiba Corp will join with Miraca Holdings to increase production of antigen-based coronavirus tests, aiding in the country's effort to screen more people for the new virus.

The alliance will double production of Miraca subsidiary Fujirebio's testing kits, which received government approval in May, to 400,000 a week, the three companies said in a joint statement on Friday.

A new plant to make the kits will be established in Hokkaido prefecture, Japan's northern island, and will start operations by December.

Larger output of antigen tests, designed for rapid detection of the virus, will help Japan do more surveillance of the virus. Japan is far behind many industrialised nations in testing for the virus, which critics say obscures the true scale of infection.

"We believe we can contribute in providing a system that enables prompt testing should second and third waves come," a Miraca spokeswoman said.

Antigen tests scan for proteins found on or inside a virus, and typically test a sample taken from the nasal cavity using swabs. The tests can detect the virus quickly but produce false negatives at a higher rate than the currently dominant polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests.

It takes about 10 to 30 minutes to get a result with Fujirebio's palm-sized antigen test kit, Miraca said, compared with four to six hours for a PCR test. Miraca does not disclose the false negative rate for the kits.

In a rare partnership, Hitachi will provide engineering know-how, while Toshiba will offer facilities. Fujirebio currently produces test kits at a plant in southern Japan.

The coronavirus has infected more than 6.6 million people and killed about 391,000 around the world. Japan has had about 17,000 infections and 910 known deaths to date.

(Reporting by Makiko Yamazaki; Editing by Chris Gallagher and Stephen Coates)

ę Reuters 2020
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
H.U. GROUP HOLDINGS, INC. -0.49% 2856 End-of-day quote.2.77%
HITACHI, LTD. -0.48% 6158 End-of-day quote.51.49%
LETS HOLDINGS GROUP CO., LTD. 0.55% 7.26 End-of-day quote.-6.68%
LOOK HOLDINGS INCORPORATED -1.48% 1462 End-of-day quote.52.77%
TOSHIBA CORPORATION 0.10% 4845 End-of-day quote.67.94%
All news about H.U. GROUP HOLDINGS, INC.
05/19H Uá : Notice Regarding Recording of Extraordinary Loss (Business Restructuring ..
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04/25H Uá : Notice Regarding Change (Retirement) of Representative Executive Officer
04/25H Uá : Appointment of Directors and Executive Officers of the Company and its Ma..
03/31H Uá : Announcement of Transfer of Non-Current Assets and Posting of Extraordina..
03/30H.U. GROUP HOLDINGS, INC. : Ex-dividend day for final dividend
02/24H Uá : Integrated Report 2020
2020CENTOGENE Ná : Fujirebio Europe and CENTOGENE Enter Partnership to Provide Rapid..
2020MIRACA HOLDINGS INC. : Ex-dividend day for interim dividend
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Sales 2021 223 B 2 013 M 2 013 M
Net income 2021 17 254 M 156 M 156 M
Net Debt 2021 41 096 M 371 M 371 M
P/E ratio 2021 9,44x
Yield 2021 5,22%
Capitalization 163 B 1 469 M 1 471 M
EV / Sales 2021 0,92x
EV / Sales 2022 0,89x
Nbr of Employees 5 968
Free-Float 99,1%
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Technical analysis trends H.U. GROUP HOLDINGS, INC.
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Last Close Price 2 856,00 JPY
Average target price 3 610,00 JPY
Spread / Average Target 26,4%
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Managers and Directors
Shigekazu Takeuchi President & Director
Naoki Kitamura Chief Financial Officer & Director
Hiroaki Kimura Head-Information Technology & Investor Relations
Kazuya Omi Executive Officer, Head-Research & Development
Ryoji Itoh Independent Outside Director
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